UGA football is undergoing a near-complete overhaul on the offensive line. With players like Warren Ericson stepping up, the line might not take a step back.
With four starters departing from the UGA football offensive line, how is Georgia supposed to field a competitive unit in 2020? Well, if you watched the Sugar Bowl game against Baylor, you’d know the second-team linemen weren’t too shabby.
One of those second-team offensive linemen who were given a shot in the Sugar Bowl was Warren Ericson from Duluth. Ericson played right guard against the Bears and helped Georgia’s offense put up 380 yards and 26 points. 92 of those yards came from Zamir White on the ground.
Two years ago, when Ericson signed with UGA football, no one thought much of the North Gwinnett product. 247Sports Composite ranked Ericson the No. 263 player in the nation in 2018. For comparison, Georgia also signed Jamaree Salyer, Trey Hill and Cade Mays in that class, each of them. Hill was ranked the lowest of the three at No. 62 overall. To say Ericson’s signing went overshadowed would be an understatement.
[Note: keep an eye on #50 Warren Ericson in Zamir White’s Sugar Bowl breakdown]
And yet, as a redshirt sophomore, Ericson has a golden opportunity to become a starting guard or even center for UGA football. That is a testament to Ericson’s hard work and the elite offensive line coaching by former coach Sam Pittman and current coach Matt Luke.
Ericson doesn’t have any standout features. He’s a not a great athlete at the position and he’s still developing his upper-body strength. But what Ericson has a good base to build on. He has a strong lower body and he’s a mean offensive lineman. He plays to the whistle and continues making blocks into the second level.
Ericson’s primary position is center and not much separates him from incumbent starter Trey Hill, but Hill has had issues throughout his career on shotgun snaps. Even his on-target snaps last year were on the high side. If those continue to be a problem, and Ericson stays right on Hill’s heels, Coach Luke might give Ericson an opportunity to start at center. Until then, Ericson will compete at left guard with Justin Schaffer, and Luke might have the two rotate this season.